2019 CONNECT Keynote Speakers

Forging a Path Toward Change

Now five years after the death of Michael Brown, Jr., Ferguson has come to symbolize U.S. racial strife and inequality. The circumstances surrounding and following Brown’s death have sharply defined challenges that demand transformation and raised questions about philanthropy’s role. Forward Through Ferguson is carrying on the work of the Ferguson Commission to catalyze St. Louis’s efforts toward racial equity. Hear from the organization’s co-chairs about the reality of driving sustainable change in the wake of a community crisis and how each of us, as funders, can play a role.


Rebeccah Bennett
Co-chair, Forward Through Ferguson

Rebeccah Bennett is founder and principal of Emerging Wisdom LLC and its subsidiary, InPower Institute. Emerging Wisdom is a forward-thinking social enterprise that helps individuals live empowered lives, leaders build impactful organizations, and communities address and resolve public policy issues. Rebeccah currently serves as co-chair of the board of Forward Through Ferguson and as Immediate Past Chair of the board of Generate Health (formerly the St. Louis Maternal Child & Family Health Coalition).

Zack Boyers
Co-chair, Forward Through Ferguson

Zack Boyers leads a team at U.S. Bank that makes tax credit investments and loans to finance affordable housing, economic development, renewable energy, and historic rehabilitation projects throughout the country. He is co-chair of Forward Through Ferguson, serves on the boards of Urban Strategies and Invest STL, and is on the National Advisory Council of Washington University’s Brown School for Social Work.

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